31 Days of Photographers That Inspire: Day 5: How local photographers can be your greatest inspiration rather than greatest competition!

Day Five:

How local photographers can go from being your competition to being your greatest inspiration and support team.

Today’s inspiration is a group of  local Houston photographers that have become very close to my heart.

I hear stories everyday about local photographers bashing each other, treating beginners like they don’t belong in their sea and offering no help for growth whatsoever.

Luckily, I have never encountered those people in person and if I had, I’m pretty sure it would have broken my spirits.

I’ve always believed in collaboration, but recently I fell into a situation that has proven to me that other photographers in my area don’t have to be my competition to be feared, but can actually serve as my greatest assets.

What we have created is something I think every emerging and accomplished photographer should have….and getting there was the easiest journey I’ve ever taken.

We have become a resource for each other, constantly collaborating, sharing, referring clients.  It is SO refreshing to be able to send clients that you can’t help to someone you trust. Need help on a shoot, with equipment, finding locations…bam…your resource awaits. I would refer my clients to every single one of these incredible women and I’m dying to share why.  They inspire me in so many ways.

We don’t fear each other stealing jobs.  All of us have our own specialty and own unique styles that draw our clients to us.  Being supportive of each other has only brought us more business and has been the best thing for all of our businesses.

Best Tip Ever…listen carefully! Last month we met for a mini workshop of our own.  We each taught something to the group and I have NEVER learned so much from one workshop in my life.  It was so incredible to take all of the strengths that we each have and all of the knowledge we’ve all gained from other workshops and put them into one valuable day.  So if you are bold/lucky enough to find your own group of incredible photographers, use it as an opportunity to learn.  We set it up as an actual workshop, not just a casual get together and we got SO much out of it.  Talk about walking away inspired.

I challenge every photographer who feels like they are on a lonely journey in their town to find some local friends to lean on like these girls!

Heidi Walker takes top honors when it comes to capturing deep emotion in her subjects with her rich black and white images. Her portraits are up close and intimate like nothing I’ve ever seen before.


Jennifer Maley specializes in children’s portraits and is the guru of all gurus of mini sessions.  She has the most creative ideas of all time to capture your munchkins! She’s also one heck of a teacher, though I’m not sure she realizes it!

jennifer maleyTimeline for fb

Neha Patel of  has years of experience interacting with all sorts of children.  She is incredible at bringing out the spunk in spunky children and making even the shyest children feel comfortable and ready to capture their personalities on camera.


Nobody works with babies with more seamless care and creativity than Beth Storey-Wyble of Queen B Photography.  Just hearing how she talks about it makes me want to have a baby so she can photograph it!


The sweetest, most family oriented woman in the world who specializes in family photography has to be Shannon Cyrus Wright of Mercy Mae Photography. As a mother of four and the wife of a pastor, she KNOWS families!


For a photographer brilliant at capturing children in natural light, playing and being themselves, I’d send you to Melanie Connery.


Kim Gipson has three of her own children under the age of three, so she’s a natural at bringing out the best in toddlers. 


I know that if a client wanted to spot light that difficult genre of tweens, I’d send them to Nikki Guest. Her spunk can bring out the smiles in EVERYONE!


Brooke Sameulian

Brooke is INCREDIBLE with families and is one of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet.




Tori Forkner’s  goal is to capture your child, your family, and your love.  If it is a giggle, a pout, a tear, or even a tickle, she wants to capture the moments together of your life now!


You can follow Bonnie and Gabriel Al-Rifai of 2 Birds Photography at  We’d love to hear from you!

Be sure to check out the rest of my 31 Days of Photographers that Inspire!


  1. Pingback: 31 Days of Photographers that Inspire | fromthebirdcage

  2. Pingback: 31 Days of Photographers That Inspire: Day 5: How local photographers can be your greatest inspiration rather than greatest competition! | fromthebirdcage

  3. This article made me smile so much!! I am newbie to the photo biz and I would so love to get to know you and your group of wonderful, talented ladies!!! I have lived in Houston my whole life and started doing photography professionally about a year ago. A few friends in the biz would be so amazing!!!! My email is I hope to hear from you 🙂

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